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Burns Stands Ground on Ethics Rebuke

The state delegate was reprimanded for writing a letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens chastising a football player's public position on same-sex marriage.

Del. Emmett Burns said he's standing his ground despite a reprimand from a legislative ethics panel over a letter he wrote last year chastising a Baltimore Ravens player who supported same-sex marriage.

"I aggressively oppose same-sex marriage and I fight for my constituents who are of the same mind," said Burns, a Baltimore County Democrat who is also a Baptist minister.

Burns wrote a letter on his official House of Delegates letterhead to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. The letter chastised linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo's public support of same-sex marriage in Maryland.

In that letter, Burns urged the Ravens owner to “inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.”

He later recanted the letter and said that Ayanbadejo had a right to support same-sex marriage.

The Maryland Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics rebuked Burns for writing the letter on state stationery.

"I felt I was representing my constituents and I still feel I was representing my constituents," Burns said Wednesday, adding that the ethics committee disagreed.

"When you take on lesbian, gay and bisexual lobby and agenda you're taking on a formidable fight," Burns said. "They come and get you but I stand my ground."

Same-sex marriage was approved by Maryland voters last year and the first marriages took place last month.

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C. McMahon February 07, 2013 at 10:31 AM
It's sad that Burns can't distinguish between his role as a minister and his role as a legislator. As a legislator, urging Bisciotti to "inhibit such expressions from your employee" sounds a lot like a Fascist dictator.
Jon February 07, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Hopefully his constituents will decide in the next election if Mr Burns represents their interests or not.
J Hoyas February 07, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Agree with both comments. As a Baltimore County resident, he certainly doesn't speak for me! He is a bafoon! When is he up for re-election?
Jackie February 08, 2013 at 02:05 AM
I fear, Mr. Burns, you are becoming irrelevant. Time to exit the stage. We need forward progress and I think you no longer recognize what that means.

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